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Eur J Pediatr. 2000 May;159(5):360-3.

Cyclic vomiting syndrome and food allergy/intolerance in seven children: a possible association.

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Department of Paediatrics, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy.


Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) is characterized by repeated unpredictable, explosive and unexplained bouts of vomiting. The episodes have a rapid onset, persist over a number of hours or days, and are separated by symptom-free intervals. Despite the recent interest in this disorder, its aetiology, pathogenesis and even its target organ remain unknown. The purpose of this study is to investigate the role played by food allergy in CVS. The report concerns eight children (five male, three female), mean age 8 years (3-13 years), suffering from CVS for 2 years at least. The diagnosis of CVS was based on characteristic history, normal physical examination and negative laboratory, radiographic, neurological and endoscopic studies. Despite the absence of clinical signs typical of food allergy, skin prick tests were positive in six of the eight patients (75%). Specific IgE were present in 4/8 (50%) of the patients. Skin tests and specific IgE were positive for cow's milk proteins, egg white and soya. IgE levels were higher than the mean + 2SD in 5/8 (63%) of the patients. A double blind placebo controlled food challenge (DBPCFC) was carried out on seven of the eight patients who displayed clinical improvement after an elimination diet for cow's milk (and other foodstuffs indicated by positive skin tests). The DBPCFC was positive in all seven children. Clinical follow-up revealed a state of well-being over the 6 months of observation.


It appears reasonable to suggest that food allergy plays a role in cyclic vomiting syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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